Repeal lifts 'heavy psychological burden' says APA

WASHINGTON -- After actively lobbying all year in support of repeal of the policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving in the military service, the American Psychological Association (APA) is also celebrating Saturday's historic vote.

The APA has long opposed the policy and sought to disseminate scientific knowledge to help alleviate the negative effects of the discriminatory policy, through education and training.

In 2004 the Association's Council of Representatives adopted their own policy statement called Sexual Orientation and Military Service which reaffirmed their opposition to discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, hailed the Senate's passing of the important bill on Saturday.

"This long-awaited action is an important step toward allowing gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to serve openly and honorably in the armed forces," said Goodheart. "Repeal of the 'don’t ask, don’t tell' policy will lift a heavy psychological burden of secrecy from gay, lesbian and bisexual military personnel."

Gays and lesbians are currently serving their country in silence and fear based on the policies outlined in the 1993 DADT directive.

The APA worked closely with the Department of Defense as it drafted the report outlining the potential impact of a repeal and Goodheart hopes they will continue to do so, as the Pentagon moves forward with enacting the change.

The APA

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

For more information visit the APA website.

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